California’s Drought is a Crisis

To All,

California’s drought is a crisis. According to NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti, California has only one year of water left in its reservoirs.1

Incredibly, the state has no plan that even begins to adequately address a crisis of this magnitude. “California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.” wrote Famiglietti in his explosive op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times.

Governor Brown must act now to protect our water. That means working with the State Water Resources Control Board to take immediate and far more aggressive, mandatory measures to promote water conservation across all sectors. It also means taking emergency action to neutralize one of the biggest threat to the precious water we still have – ending toxic oil industry waste water dumping that according to the EPA is today illegally endangering our state’s drinking water aquifers.

Tell Governor Brown: Enact emergency measures to protect our water, including mandatory water rationing, and an immediate halt to illegal dumping of oil industry waste water into our drinking water aquifers.

Earlier this week, Governor Brown’s State Water Resources Control Board announced a wholly insufficient plan covering lawns, hotels, and restaurants.2 Even though this has been incorrectly reported in the media as being “sweeping” restrictions, watering fewer lawns and giving diners water only on request doesn’t even begin to address the crisis we find ourselves in.

What’s clearly needed is mandatory water rationing across all of the state’s water sectors, from domestic and municipal through industrial and agricultural, which itself accounts for 80 percent of California’s water use.3

With only one year of water left, we need to do more than mandate conservation. Brown has encouraged the permitting of illegal fracking and oil waste disposal into federally protected drinking water aquifers in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.4 And state regulators recently “discovered” hundreds of dangerous, unpermitted open waste pits.5

Under Brown, California’s regulatory agencies thoroughly failed to safely regulate these practices – and even regulators admit it. In many cases, regulators may not even know where drilling waste injection or storage is taking place. The Los Angeles Times reports, “The federal Environmental Protection Agency has called the state’s errors ‘shocking’ and said that California’s oil field waste water injection program does not comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.”6

We don’t have time to spare – these dangerous practices of toxic fracking and oil waste disposal need to be halted immediately. It’s important to show public support for more drastic measures. The truth is this is a crisis and in addition to our individual conservation efforts we need to organize to win comprehensive, mandatory, and long-term solutions to this epic drought that threatens life as we know it in California.

It is long past time for serious leadership to match the urgency of this escalating crisis. Click the link below and tell Governor Brown to take immediate action, and do everything in his power to save our water: